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>> this is bbc world news america, reporting from washington. our gaddafi forces on the run? rebels appeared to turn the tide in brown fighting and are now trying to take the libyan strongman hometown. inside japan's nuclear effect erasion zone, a rare look at the desolate area near the crippled reactor, even as word comes up new leaks of highly radioactive water. defining the american dream. we begin a special series examining the experience is of those who have come to call the u.s. home.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. in libya, state television is reporting you allied air strikes tonight, even as anti-government rebels) on what could be an important symbolic victory after a weekend of military gains. there have been moving steadily west, retaking towns they had earlier lost, moving from benghazi, the rebels are now in control of three other towns. the biggest victory could be the capture of sirte, colonel gaddafi's home town. >> taking the fight to colonel gaddafi's birthplace. rebels pounding targets near the town of sirte. a victory here would have huge the symbolic value. if the libyan leader cannot defend his home town, how long
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can he defend his regime? rebels said these were some of his supporters, mercenaries, they claimed, sent to kill, but defeated by poorly armed volunteers. we found rebel fighters racing to the front lines with a clear message for the libyan leader. a few weeks ago, a gesture like this would have gotten him killed. along the way, we met this band of brothers and cousins, and extended family who said they were ready to fight and die together so their children could be free. the rebels have been sweeping forward relative ease. many gaddafi loyalists have
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opted to flee rather than fight because of the coalition air strikes. the rebels insist they will take this road all the way to tripoli, but the closer they get to the capitol, the more resistance they can expect to face. some were already doing a victory dance, but these untrained fighters have a long way to go before tripoli will be in their sights. and within hours, they were in retreat. civilians and rebels, pulling back amid confused reports that gaddafi loyalists or attacking from the beaches. >> as rebel forces advanced westward, colonel gaddafi's troops continued their attacks on insurgents in the city of misrata. the two sides have been pounding each other for more than a
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month, and even without allied air strikes, the toll would be terrible. >> misrata is one of the key battlefields in this war. the rebels captured it 39 days ago and have been pounded by the pro-gaddafi forces ever since. for now, the government says a cease-fire is in operation here. we had pictures from misrata last week, showing the extent of the damage. this is the main hospital in the town. we were not taken to the center ofñdcw the edge of it, where the heavy cloud of black smoke hanging over that skyline. the libyan authorities wanted to emphasize the scale of the violence here. by chance, or maybe not, something, probably a generator, caught fire exactly
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as we were passing. finally, will arrive at a point about 3 miles from the center of the town. here, and expected, noisy crowd engulfed us. >> it is hard to avoid the feeling that this is all set up for our benefit. overlooking it all was awful outside broadcast unit from libyan television, putting out the pictures live via satellite dish. it was well-organized, but what was entirely genuine was the scale of the damage. at the outskirts of misrata -- if the outskirts are like this, what must the center be like after weeks of fighting? as fort gaddafi's supporters, there just as fierce and the
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enthusiastic as the rebels. it is no wonder the siege has gone so long. >> confusing scenes, but tomorrow international powers meet in london to it -- to discuss libya. tonight, president obama will address the american public on the u.s. aims and commitments there. does president obama have a tough sell to the american public? >> usually the sell comes before military action for the united states. he is going to try to explain both why he went in and how long is going to last. that seems to be foremost on the white house's mine today. the hope to keep it short. >> what do we know about how the american public stance? >> it is about two to one against. most americans believe it is a
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problem best left to others. chiefly because they do not understand what america's interests in libya are. this is a speech, as far as we can tell, that is just going to be about libya tonight. >> the secretary of defense saying it is not in america's vital interests. not surprising that the american public is confused as well. >> i think secretary clint suggested it was and then mr. gates said it was the region we are concerned about. >> i think they will try to avoid the use of the work work. >> they will not try to make about a larger doctrine. -- the use of the word "war." >> is an explanatory time when they say how we went in and how
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we are going to get out. >> the thing there is any chance that the international community could come out of that conference having made a commitment to help the rebels more than they have done so for, in order to get rid of gaddafi? >> the president had a couple of good days on the ground. that has led the obama administration to seize the opportunity to say this is working, and have a bit of a victory lap. going forward, it is likely things will get more violent and not less. how the u.s. and european allies frame that support is different than the way they have framed it in the past. before, it was a humanitarian mission. if it goes on to tripoli, it could be a different explanation. >> if you listen to the statements of the americans
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immerses the french, very different ideas about how far to get involved and how long this might last. >> thanks very much. in more signs of unrest throughout the middle east, anti-government protesters have been in force in the yemen. talks aimed at ending the unrest have stalled. having promised to step down, the president on sunday said he will make no more concessions. faced with protests in his country, syria's president has put on a show of leadership with the round of diplomatic meetings and telephone calls with other arab leaders. reports say anti-government protests and tear gas was fired at demonstrators. efforts to stabilize the trouble fukushima nuclear plant has suffered new and serious setbacks. power officials say plutonium
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has now been detected in the soil outside the stricken plant and that highly radioactive water had leaked from the facility, possibly into the sea. an exclusion zone of 20 kilometers is supposed to be in force around fukushima. there are reports some people have still not left the area. >> the sign says danger. beyond it, the zone closest to the stricken plant. everyone has been ordered out. this japanese team is going in. at first, the streets seemed empty. people left in a hurry, fearing the radiation. they could not take everything with them. but not everyone, it seems, has left.
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this rice farmer seems to have local idea of the danger, or else is choosing to ignore it. he shows them his neighbor's farm. the cows left to fend for themselves. there are not many goods available. there are not many shops that are open. there are a lot of farmers in the area, so we have vegetables. this area it is unsafe, the government says, and yet the teams find more and more who stayed. how long will it last? this man says. more people will die. more bad things will happen. this is going to get tougher. the tsunami damage is plain to see. the poison from the nuclear
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plant, invisible. no one knows for certain how bad this really is. can anyone ever return here? >> still facing very real dangers there in japan. in other news from around the world tonight, it ranges from a globetrotting former president to a frightening discovery in northern ireland. police there say a bomb found your courthouse in londonderry on sunday was a substantial, viable the vice. it was contained in a beer keg and left in a stolen car. police believe it was planted by dissident republican group. british airways has voted for further strikes. the route began over cost- cutting but now centers on the decision to remove travel concessions. the former u.s. president jimmy carter is back in cuba, his first visit since 2002.
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he remains the only u.s. president to visit the country since its 1959 communist revolution. this trip is being described as private, but it is thought he will discuss the case of a u.s. citizen jail this month for providing illegal internet access to cuban citizens. the head of football's world governing body says he is concern that brazil may not be ready in time to host the world cup in 2014. he said preparations need to be speeded up. he said brazilian officials wrapping as if the world cup was the day after tomorrow, when in fact it was, as he put it, already tomorrow. which nation will be the real global power of tomorrow? there is not much doubt it will be china. according to a poll conducted by the bbc world service, that does not sit too well in many parts of the world. in germany, more than 50% now have a negative view of china's
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growing economic power, up 10% from six years ago. in the united states, there was a similar jump. scientific research is another area in which china could soon be leading the world. if its current rate of progress is maintained, it could come within three years. measured by the number of published research papers, chinese scientists are already in second place behind the united states. as our correspondent discovered, they are gaining fast. >> a land of ancient invention, china was first with writing paper and with gunpowder. one ambition is space. chinese research is suddenly accelerating. the aim to use science to regain a global lead.
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>> they want to catch up with the advance companies in science and technology. by 2050, china wants to be one of the leaders. >> in chinese labs, they are working on future medicines, microscopic machines, new sources of energy, and the royal society has forecast for this will lead. with figures like isaac newton, the west has dominated global signs for centuries, but things are changing. take the publication of research papers. 15 years ago, america pumps out nearly 300,000. back then, china was way behind. but three years ago, america was up slightly. lookout china has been massively catching up. -- look how china has been massively catching up. think what charles darwin would
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have made of that. some of china's research is done with scientists from other countries, so some advances can be shared, but not all of them. >> for us, it is a good thing, because we can benefit from their development, but we have to be aware that if we want to remain a top player in science, we cannot rest on our laurels. >> how is america reacting? china's research is a concern, but there are doubts about its value. >> it is nothing that keeps me awake at night. in the university world of the united states, we do our best to judge the quality of publications and not just the quantity. >> but for how long? china is investing massively in science and has not forgotten who first gave the world rockets and a lot more besides. >> china moving inexorably ahead. still to come, what is the real meaning of the american dream in
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the 21st century? as you might imagine, the answer you get depends on who you ask. given the crush of international events in recent months, last november's bombardments by north korea of a small south korean island has been almost forgotten by boat wider world. two civilians were killed, which sparked fears of a wider conflict. the tragedy remains very fresh for those who were evacuated from the island, some of whom are just getting back to pick up the pieces. >> this restaurant has been lifeless for months. today it is busy again. these are the first diner since north korea attack. it was a lunchtime just like this one when the shell suddenly began to fall outside.
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in cases across the street is where mrs. lee, the restaurant's owner, used to live with her family. >> suddenly the windows shattered, and i ran out of the house. our neighbors place was already on fire. the fear was that if they attacked again, they would invade the island and take us hostage. there was one time when i woke up in the middle of the night with a strange feeling, so i locked all the windows. only yesterday there were rumors that north korea would attack, and everybody fled to the bunkers. >> destructive, but seemingly random. buildings were spare all nearby, whole lots were flat in. some want revenge against those who did this. >> if i had the opportunity, said this woman, i would cross over into north korea, chased them down, and kill them. even those buildings not directly hit had windows shattered by the shock waves.
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this man says he has replaced the windows of 150 properties in the last three months. four people died when the north attacked. it said in response to south korea's navy barring into its waters during an exercise. for weeks there were bristling displays of military muscle. to countries whose cold war conflict of the 1950's saw a cease-fire, but no final peace treaty. when north korean shells fell on this island, there was a genuine fear that war would break out. since then, things have gotten a little better, but there are still regular threats. for people living on this tiny speck of south korea, just a stone's throw from the north korean coast line, they are genuinely concerned about another attack. apart from the soldiers permanently based here, most
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people on the island live from fishing. now retrieving anchors used to hold nets in place, which were abandoned during the attack. >> at the moment, we are trying to get things back to normal, but it all depends on what the north koreans do in the future. if they appear hostile, then our navy will react by restricting our fishing grounds. if this means our boats cannot go out, that will have a big impact on our livelihood. >> but for now, they are giving up for that -- gearing up for the crabbing season. most people were born here and will stay here, despite the nearby threat from north korea. >> for months on, they are picking up the pieces and looking to an uncertain future, many fearing another attack. the korean war was never
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properly consigned to history with a peace treaty. for these people, it is very much here and now. >> tensions there on the korean peninsula. here in the united states, it is economic annexed that threatens the american dream. tonight we begin a special series at looking at what that phrase means today. more than two centuries after the framers of the declaration of independence declared the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, many still flock to these shores seeking to fulfill that promise. as we found, the american dream may not be as easy to define or to achieve as it once was. apartment isklyn small. her father's big voice fills it easily. ♪
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trained in leningrad, he sang opera with the world's great, even albert einstein was a fan. >> this was taken in april of 1930. this was very soon after your arrival in america. >> yes, that is the only thing that i had. >> isabel was 10 years old when she arrived at ellis island with her parents. russian jews, they had a rare escape from the purges of stalling. did s family make that dangerous journey for freedom or for money? >> i don't think they never cared about the financial life, but for freedom, it was a dream. cracks for immigrants fleeing persecution in europe, the statue of liberty really was the symbol of a new life in a new world. somewhere in the middle of the last century, the dream changed.
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as america's postwar economy boomed, the new arrivals wanted more than freedom, they wanted a share of the prosperity as well. in the 1950's, america trumpeted its economic strength. washing machines, ovens, and cars were the new face of the u.s.a. the quest for liberation became a quest for coca-cola. but without the expiring lure of freedom, the dream became vulnerable to a more prosaic things, like economic downturn. in bushwick, brooklyn, many residents were born in latin america and their only reason to coming to the u.s. was financial. it is not a community that lack ambition. project, some immigrants feel that their families have prospered here. >> my parents came here
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literally from nothing. right now, my parents are working on their own house. they have another house that they rent out, and have a couple of cars. this is living great. >> but many more speak of high expectations being dashed. >> my father has worked hard all his life. he came here from puerto rico at 18 and built a foundation. he is still working hard, for nothing. my father is 50, breaking his back. this has no medical benefit, and he is struggling. >> they get paid low wages, you are never going nowhere, and it is hard for you to move up. you have to work more than one job to pay rent because rent is so high. you work hard for nothing. >> is a far cry from the vision of economic opportunity that isabel has. >> the american dream is to work and to have a home and to get
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ahead. you can start as a janitor and become the owner of a building. >> is that still true? today's new arrivals have less faith in the american dream of getting ahead. be sure to join us tomorrow as our american dream series continues. we will speak to ronald reagan, jr., the son of america's 40th president, to see how his vision compares to that of his father. you can find much more on our website. see how one woman found her ticket to success by selling tupperware, while a japanese americans saw his dream turned into a nightmare when he was sent to an internment camp during world war ii. what you are on-line, you can also get in touch with me and most of the bbc world news team on twitter. you can see what we are working
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on. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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BBC World News
PBS March 28, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. International issues. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 11, America 11, U.s. 7, Gaddafi 7, United States 5, North Korea 4, Libya 4, Tripoli 3, Us 3, Fukushima 2, Navy 2, Obama 2, South Korea 2, Mrs. Lee 1, Ellis Island 1, Jimmy Carter 1, Charles Darwin 1, Clint 1, Brown 1, Korean Peninsula 1
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